Turtle's Watch, a photo haiku



Ma laid eggs on beach

turtle egg hill

Watchers moved them high and dry

wet stairfoot

Now where do I go?

" ... said the new mother turtle. Click the picture for a medium size version or here for oversized pictures of these three: ma eggs, watchers' move, and where go?

The turtle is a new mother. One born from the nest close to the shore. Or one born from a nest moved high and dry by turtle watchers. The stormy years of 2004 and 2005 on the NW Florida gulf coast has eroded and reshaped the coastline. This impacts turtles, people, and every being living on the coast. The mother turtle comes back to the beach where she was born, in order to lay her eggs. So what happens when her target beach is gone? What happens when the eggs were laid one place and moved by human hands to another place?

The stairs show the predicament of comings and goings. Looking closely at the larger photos reveals that the older weatherworn stairs have been crudely patched, repaired, and extended with new wood recently. And the fix is still at peril of washaway waves or possible new storm surges.

This photo haiku formed in my mind as I prowled the shore during the week following hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. On the previous Friday, that storm was predicted to come ashore about where the ma turtle laid her eggs in the top photo. However, it hit about 270 miles west of there, wreaking great devastation on New Orleans, Louisiana and a surrounding area of 90 square miles. During this week I was captivated by the great surge of journalism and media communications of the ongoing catastrophe. There was even a "helicopter journalist", reporting in motorized hover mode. A European journalist said this event marks the end of the American Empire, expected to decline.

So the turtle story came as a photo haiku. Like photo journalism, but pared down to a small poem.

The continuing story: Sand is Back. Back to the Water, 2005 page. See South Walton Turtle Watch page.

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